I loved everything about this book, from the cover to the pages within. I think the cover is absolutely beautiful and captures Lucy Banning quite well and gives you a picture of Lucy and her culture to better relate to her in the book.
Now, onto the story! I had a hard time tearing myself away from the story. It captivated me from the beginning and I found myself whisked away to 1893, Chicago, and the World's Fair. I found it very interesting to read about Mr. Ferris, who invented the Ferris wheel and imagining all of the speculation that people would have about this wheel that goes around and around. I could see that it would possibly be considered to be unsafe by some and actually quite impossible to carry out! I loved the story ending, although I did feel bad for Daniel and all that he went through. I really hope the next book talks about Charlotte. I'm anxious to know if she gets her baby back. I can't imagine the pain that she has gone through of boarding her baby. I'm also curious about her past. I know it talked about it a little in this book, but I want more information! So, please continue with these same characters and tell us more!
It was interesting how Lucy was a girl, going to college, but had to keep it a secret because at that time, it wasn't a becoming thing to do. Who would have thought that so many years later it would be a becoming thing for most women to go to college. I loved how she stood up for herself, befriended those less fortunate than her, but never really acted the role of a wealthy person. In fact, she wanted to be someone where the expectations were less.
If you like historical fiction, grab this book. It was a wonderful book to read and I think you will absolutely enjoy reading about the World's Fair and all the preparations they had to do for it. Lots of history, but a wonderful romance story weaved within so you hardly notice that you're learning something along the way!
I received this book free from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.
This story begins with the premise of a woman's search for personal freedom and escape from the "rules and regulations" of society during the early 1890's in Chicago. Young Lucy Banning is the only girl, with three brothers, in a very wealthy family. She has every privilege of wealth, from home, fashions, and social opportunities, that anyone could imagine. She is also engaged to a young man from a like family; the two families have been very close friends since before their parents even married.
While life could be very scripted, Lucy desires more, much more than her very strict, lady-like circumstances can allow. She manages to enroll for a class at the very new University of Chicago but has to keep it a secret or she would never be allowed to do so; this, of course, involves making many excuses in order to protect her "secret." She also has taken a great interest in a local orphanage and volunteers there on a regular basis. Her life is a series of "secrets" which she has to carefully maneuver through in order to maintain her heart's desires.
Lucy has becomes involved with planning for the Chicago World's Fair, which is due to open in the summer of 1893, and spends much of one day a week helping to plan the exhibits in the "women's center" for the great Fair. She is a busy young woman.
A new maid hired to help serve in the home, Charlotte, comes to the home with a great secret of her own, which Lucy soon discovers and then decides to help the girl with her problems. They become great friends and confidants, which plays a major role in their relationship.
The novel as a whole is well-written, interesting, exciting, and dramatic. There are no dull moments, though some events are predictable. However, it gives excellent insight into the lives of the rich and famous of that day, and helps us who live more than a hundred years beyond, a feeling of being blessed by the freedoms we have!
Lucy lives a privileged life but wants more for herself than what is commonly acceptable for women of her standing. Promised to marry a long-time friend from a respected family, Lucy remains determined to continue her charity work and take college classes. When she meets her brother's friend Will, she feels an instant connection with him and begins to question what kind of life she really wants.
The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is a stunning debut! The historical element is strongâ€”particularly the story surrounding the upcoming World's Fair. Olivia Newport writes in such a way that I felt I had stepped into 1893. She also has a knack for making the characters come alive. I could feel Lucy's angst and the sparks between Will and Lucy. There were a couple of small glitches in the plot (for instance, the twist at the end just seemed off somehow), but overall, I thought the novel was just fantastic!
I can't wait to read the next book in this series and am keeping my fingers crossed that we'll get to know more of Charlotte's story. Or maybe Lucy's brother? Regardless, Olivia Newport is one busy lady and we'll be seeing a lot more from her in the months to come! [4 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.
I sometimes wonder what I would have been like if I'd been born over a hundred years ago. Would I have let myself be held captive by societal expectations, or would I have thrown convention to the wind and charted my own course? Olivia Newport has created a fabulous novel in The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, where the main character, Lucy, certainly refuses to let society or circumstances define her future, resulting in a story that I enjoyed every minute of! What I most appreciated about Lucy is that her refusal to be "status quo" is not just for her own selfish gains, but rather for caring for orphans instead of planning her expected marriage, or helping a maid keep a precious secret even though society says she shouldn't even associate with the household staff. The story is set in a wonderful period of time, the year that Chicago was preparing to host the World's Columbian Exposition, and as such is filled with interesting historical details and settings. I greatly enjoyed the unexpected intrigue and family suspense that revealed itself, which was resolved in a satisfactory manner and one that illuminated ever more the special nature of Lucy Banning. The novel is somewhat light on the spiritual side of things, but provides a clean, appropriate, and enjoyable read that celebrates grace and the power of forgiveness.
The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is a strong debut novel, and I award it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I'm looking forward to future additions to the "Avenue of Dreams" series.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy reading about the time period...pretty much every time I get a book set during this part of American history. Oh, and the Chicago World's Fair is a great setting. Having recently been to Chicago and driven down Michigan Avenue, I found that quite intriguing as well. Of course, throw in an orphanage and people who help them, and you've got me hooked. I love stories were people of means sincerely care for the poor and don't help them out of duty. Lucy was a great character when it came to her compassion. The same went for Will. And I just plain felt sorry for Daniel. If you read the book, you'll see why.
The love part of the story was slow in coming, but it was nice and satisfying when it finally happened. There were a number of other elements in the story that were nice twists and turns to the plot. I was worried for the characters as well. And Charlotte's secret... well, let's just say my heart still hurts for her situation. Maybe she'll find love in another book with a certain servant named Archie? Of course, there is that legal issue and the fact that she is hiding for safety reasons that sort of puts a snafu in that plan. But authors can do amazing things in fiction and I'm looking forward to seeing what Ms. Newport cooks up next.